Mr. Grady Beard was born on January 8, 1944, Edward McFrazier, Sr. and Anna Bryant Beard in York County, South Carolina. He departed this earthly life on April 12, 2023, at Mission Hospital, Asheville, North Carolina.
After graduating from Reid High School in 1962 he joined the US Army; where he served for two years, He was honorably discharged due to severe injuries he sustained while fighting in Vietnam. He received many awards and recognitions over the years with the most prestigious being the Purple Heart which he was awarded twice. The Purple Heart is a United States Military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those wounded or killed while serving. He also received the Oak Leaf Cluster Award; a medal given to servicemen who has distinguished himself/herself by heroism. He later married Ann Hawthorne, who had been his nurse at the Veterans Hospital in Asheville.
While recuperating at the Veterans Hospital, Grady, being the charismatic person that he was, became the VA’s disc jockey (DJ).
This and his gift of singing led him to venture into area night spots where he met and sang with Inez and Charlie Fox; R&B singers who were well known for the song “Mockingbird”. Legend has it that from then on, he became a renowned celebrity in Asheville and was sought after by many to perform. A live stream will be held on Avery's Memorial Chapel Facebook Page.
Services are Saturday, April 22, 2023, at 3:00 PM Neely’s Grove AME Zion Church (3321 South New Hope Road Gastonia, North Carolina 28056)
Burial will be on Monday, April 24, 2023, at 12:00 PM at Western Caolina State VA (962 Old US Hwy 70 Black Mountain, NC 28711)
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